Posted On: 05/16/18 11:59 AM
Over the weekend, the Prep Hoops Battle at the Lakes took place in a number of gyms around the metro. It is truly one of the premier grassroots events every summer, bringing in a wealth of talent at a variety of age groups from across the country.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 20 players from outside of the metro that made impressions over the three days in the 15u, 16u, and 17u divisions.
Tyler Aamodt – 6’2” Guard, East Grand Forks (2020)
Aamodt got the scoring started early for EGF, aggressively attacking the defense off the dribble and slashing to the hoop. He had 12 in the first half against Gallo Sports Center, finishing the game with 16. Aamodt is a scrappy player that attacks the glass well from the guard position.
Camden Arndt – 6’4” Guard/Forward, Morris/MN Comets (2019)
If there is one outstate player that I think is really poised for a huge prep season next year, it’s Arndt. His size and athleticism make him a very versatile player, with the ability to guard four (maybe five depending on the opponent) positions, post smaller wings, take slower players off the dribble, and make shots from the perimeter. He had 13 against D1MN Prospects and 10 against Iowa Pump & Run.
Julian Benson – 6’1” Guard, East Grand Forks (2020)
A very solid core of juniors-to-be from EGF competed as a team in this event, with Benson leading the charge. He is a vocal leader on the court, a very intense competitor with a high-motor. He had 22 points against Gallo Sports Center, knocking down three shots from deep and getting into the lane with ease.
Dylan DeChampeau – 6’5” Forward, Greenway/MN Matrix (2020)
DeChampeau looks the part of a prototypical wing player and he brings the athleticism and tools as well. His leaping ability, lateral quickness, and straight-line speed make him an above average rebounder, solid defender, and a premier finisher slashing to the hoop or getting out on the fast break. Late in their opening game win over Team 1848, DeChampeau put his athleticism on display with a couple of dunks to cap off their victory on his way to 14 points.
Finn Diggins – 6’4” Forward, Perham/West Central United (2021)
Diggins has a very fundamentally-sound game, getting the job done with substance instead of style. He showed off great footwork in the post with a number of “old-school” post moves; up-and-unders, drop-step with a power dribble, you name it. He found someone to put a body on and box out, played strong help defense, and communicated well.
Brett Engelmeyer – 6’1” Guard, Melrose/MN Crossfire (2021)
With the ability to handle the ball and initiate offense as well as work without the ball and knock down open shots, Engelmeyer is budding into a nice combo guard. He hit two threes and finished with 8 points against Showtime Hoopers.
Eli Erickson – 6’4” Forward, Hibbing/MN Crossfire (2021)
Erickson brings a physical presence to the game with a mix of toughness in the paint on both ends of the court as well as the versatility to step out to the perimeter. He battles on both ends to gain position and attacks the glass aggressively. He fought through contact and found his way to the line and also stepped out to hit a three on his way to 11 points against Manimal Elite.
Jackson Jangula – 5’9” Guard, St. Cloud Cathedral/MN Comets (2019)
Without Cade Goggleyein the lineup on Sunday, the primary ball handling duties were left solely to Jangula. He made the most of the day, displaying phenomenal court vision, controlling the pace of the game, probing the defense and hitting open shots when the opportunity found him. Jangula had 14 against D1MN Prospects (four 3’s) and 10 against Iowa Pump & Run.
Kaleb Knutson – 6’3” Guard/Forward, Moorhead/West Central United (2020)
Knutson showed a nice inside-out game for WC United. In their first game of the weekend, he knocked down a trio of shots from downtown and finished with 13 points in the contest. A very well-rounded offensive player, he has range, can post smaller defenders, and can get to the rim off the dribble.
Mason Miller – 6’8” Forward/Center, Ada-Borup/MN Matrix (2020)
With a sturdy 6’8” frame, Miller is an intimidating presence in the paint for MN Matrix. He has above average strength and footwork down low, allowing him to successfully gain and maintain position on the glass and prevent his opponent from establishing good post position. His post moves on offense are sound with the strength to power through contact and finish. He finished with 13 points in their Elite 8 loss on Sunday.
Elijah Morris – 6’1” Guard, Perham/West Central United (2021)
Morris showed the ability to play both guard positions effectively, displaying confidence in his handle and a quick first step that allows him to slash into the defense. He’s an effective catch-and-shoot player as well, with good lateral quickness that allows him to be a strong on-ball defender.
Charlie Rasmussen – 6’1” Guard, Perham/West Central United (2020)
Yet another solid guard/wing from Perham, Rasmussen impressed in their opening round game with 14 points against Manimal Elite. He moves well without the ball, cutting into open space and making himself available, finishing effectively in traffic. He showed his range by knocking down a three in the game.
Cayden Rickard – 6’0” Guard, Moorhead/West Central United (2020)
A very unselfish player who is always looking to make the extra pass to get his teammates an open look. He is crafty, with good court vision, as he made several lead passes up the court to start the break. While he’s willing to make the extra pass, more often than not the best look is when he has the ball in space, as he knocked down five 3’s in their opening round matchup.
Griffin Rushin – 6’3” Forward, Brainerd/Acceleration (2021)
His size and length can present matchup problems as he is effective at posting up smaller players and finishing over the top and his range can take larger opponents out to the perimeter. He paced the Acceleration 15u squad with 19 points in their first game against MN Nice.
Nick Schaefer – 6’3” Guard, St. Cloud Cathedral/MN Comets (2019)
One of a handful of St. Cloud Cathedral players in action over the weekend, Schaefer is one of the premier spot-up shooters in outstate MN. In a win against Iowa Pump & Run he poured in three triples on his way to 17 points. He showed more slashing/driving ability than I’d seen from him during the high school season, doing a nice job of shielding the ball upon contact with good body control.
Jacob Stolzenberg – 6’2” Guard, St. Cloud Cathedral/MN Matrix (2020)
The Schaefer/Stolzenberg combo on the wing for Cathedral was effective last season, but with another summer of development behind these two, Stolzenberg and Schaefer are poised to shine. Jacob came out hot in the first game of the Battle, canning four threes on his way to a game-high 18 points. He has a quick release that allows him to get his shot up efficiently in the face of a close out.
Sam Stolzenberg – 5’9” Guard, St. Cloud Cathedral/Acceleration (2021)
The younger brother of Jacob, the ability to shoot the ball must run in the family! Sam also showed a quick release and sound form over the weekend. He has the ability to penetrate the defense and isn’t afraid to take on contact, making his way to the stripe and converting 4 times on his way to 9 points in their first game on Saturday.
Adam Tonsfeldt – 5’10” Guard, Barnesville/West Central United (2021)
Tonsfeldt is a ball of energy on the court, keeping his dribble alive to penetrate the defense, always looking for an open teammate on offense and hounding the guards of the opposition on defense. His body control when going up to finish is impressive, shielding the ball and creating space to get shots off over larger defenders.
Nathan Willett – 6’3” Guard/Forward, East Grand Forks (2020)
Willett appears to play larger than 6’3” on the defensive end, with his long arms continuously getting in passing lanes and contesting shots. His shot was not falling in the first half of their game against Gallo Sports Center, but he showed great confidence in his abilities and came out in the second half to knock down four 3’s in the half and finish with 17 points.
Ryan Wyganowski – 5’10” Guard, New London-Spicer/UVA Tate (2019)
I only got a glimpse of the first half of one of his games Sunday, but what I saw was quite impressive. Wyganowski can heat up fast as he poured in four threes in the handful of minutes that I saw him. He does a great job of positioning himself to catch the ball with his shoulders and feet square, when that happens, you can put three points on the board.